News Corp Offers $2 Billion To Buy Consolidated Media Holdings

Freelance journalist Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney

UPDATED: News Corp. is poised to strengthen its dominance of the Australian pay-TV industry after launching a $A1.97 billion bid to buy James Packer’s Consolidated Media Holdings. The deal, which Packer has welcomed, would increase News’ holdings in Foxtel, the leading pay-TV platform, from 25% to 50% and give it full ownership of the lucrative sports channels provider Fox Sports. Packer, who owns 50.1% of Consolidated Media, had flagged his intention to unload his media interests to focus on his casino empire which includes Melbourne’s Crown and Perth’s Burswood.  Packer could use the $1 billion windfall in his battle to wrest control of Echo Entertainment, which owns Sydney’s Star City Casino.  Packer said he welcomes News’ proposal, looks forward to working with News on the detailed terms and conditions, and that he considers the offer price of $3.50 per share as fair. The deal is subject to regulatory approval. (more…)

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